Soldier gets first family vacation in 10 years |

Soldier gets first family vacation in 10 years

Post Independent/Kara K. PearsonThe Henry family; Katherine, bottom left, Ken, bottom right, Michael and Whitney; pose after having a meal at Juicy Lucy's in Glenwood. The family is in town for the weekend for Operation Vacation.

Operation Vacation is a program that brings military personnel who have fought overseas to the Roaring Fork Valley. Bob Johnson, a realtor for Vicki Lee Green Realtors in Glenwood Springs, coordinated with the Army to create the program that has hosted six soldiers over a six-month period to Glenwood. Johnson has secured lodging, meals and amenities for three additional veterans to visit the area in the coming months, and hopes to continue the program throughout the year. More than 20 businesses have donated dinners, entertainment, outdoor activities, lodging and transportation for Operation Vacation participants. Those interested in sponsoring the program may contact Bob Johnson at or 945-1010.Name: Sgt. Kenneth (Ken) Henry

Age: 40 Branch of the military and division: Army, Second Brigade Combat Team, Second Infantry DivisionFamily: Wife Katherine; 19-year-old daughter Whitney; and 13-year-old son Michael

When and why did you join the Army? The first time, I joined in 1984. I was in medical school and I was recruited out of medical school by the Army. That’s the way to go when you’re young and in school and trying to figure out life. I rejoined the Army three years ago, and went through Basic Training again at 36. I enjoy the camaraderie of being in the military. I’m an emergency medical technician and a medic, so I really enjoy my job. I also do a lot of instructing, and my wife helps me with the classes (volunteering to teach students how to draw blood).Where have you been deployed? I was deployed to Iraq three times: Desert Storm, Desert Shield and Operation Iraqi Freedom. I’ve been in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Korea and Europe (I lived in Germany for six years). When you were being deployed, what did you miss most about home? My family, No. 1. And a hot bath. Over there (in Iraq), you’re lucky to get a shower.

What’s your favorite food? Octopus and squid. Korea, that’s where I got hooked on that.What do you like to do in your free time? Music and concerts. I’m a metalhead – I like anything from the ’70s, ’80s and now, including stuff people have never heard of. I’m a music fanatic. Since I’ve lived in Colorado, I also like anything to do with nature like hiking and rock climbing. What historical figure do you most admire? Jason McMasters, the lead singer from Dangerous Toys, a band from the ’80s. He released his first album when he was 16 and had his first platinum album when he was 17 or 18. Now he plays in six bands.What are you looking forward to doing while in Glenwood Springs? Everything. The Hot Springs Pool, skiing and snowboarding, maybe snowmobiling, the Caverns everything on the list, hopefully. This is our first time in Glenwood, and the first time we’ve had a family vacation in 10 years. It’s awesome. We really appreciate this.

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